Kyratzes’ The Council Of Crows On Greenlight, The Sea On Steam

If I were to list games that truly feel like labours of love, the Lands of Dream series would probably be the first to come to mind. So I’m excited to see that another portal into its world (or point-and-click adventure, for the uninitiated) is nearing completion.

After several delays, the game known as Ithaka Of The Clouds has grown into The Council of Crows [official site]. It’s slated for release in 2016, and it has landed on Steam Greenlight. Meanwhile, The Sea Will Claim Everything [official site], the largest and most polished portal to the Lands so far, has been updated, expanded, and re-released on Steam, free for previous owners. In short: The Steam Will Claim Everything.

You probably know Jonas Kyratzes for contributing his words to The Talos Principle (together with Tom Jubert), or maybe you’ve heard he’s working on Serious Sam 4 with his partner Verena. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know RPS also highlighted quite a few of his games in the past.

For both The Sea Will Claim Everything and The Council of Crows, Verena provided the illustrations, and the excellent Chris Christodolou (Risk Of Rain, Deadbolt) the soundtrack. Jonas did, well, everything else.

The Council of Crows was indiegonegone in 2013, to be released in 6 to 8 months, but health issues, the unexpected work on The Talos Principle, and some new creative ideas meant it became bigger took much longer than planned. Although they more than made up for the delay by giving backers several unexpected gifts. (*)

While I expect the same quality of writing and overall mood – see below – the structure of this portal will be slightly different from its more linear predecessors, trading in expansiveness for some more depth, openness and reactivity in a single area.

“Quite a lot of the game is open: you can do things in more than one order, sometimes even solve problems in more than one way. […] Since this time you’ll be spending so much time in one place, the people of the town will also have a lot more to say to you as the days pass.”

That doesn’t mean that it’ll be small: in fact, they claim it’ll the biggest Lands of Dream game yet.

If you’ve never explored the Lands of Dream, most of the other portals are free, and there’s a demo for the newly re-released The Sea Will Claim Everything. You can read wot Adam Thought about it back in 2012, but here’s the short of it: it’s a gorgeous hand-drawn point-and-click, less about puzzles and more about reading text and dialogues and descriptions, breathing in the world, and empathising with the people and/or anthropomorphised animals.

The Sea Will Claim Everything is light and joyful like a children’s book but it’s also smart, and most importantly, it feels human in a way very few games do. It’s funny, cute and lovely, from the drawings to the fact that you can click on pretty much everything and get a reaction, or a description, or a silly sound. There are hundreds of fungi in it, each and everyone with a unique personality; there are rooms filled with dozens of boxes and books, and every box has different things in it and every book has a title (*) and the writing is so delightful you can end up spending 20 minutes clicking on each of them and giggling, and by the end you feel like the characters are your friends and you’re part of the community and – I’ll stop here or I could go on praising it all day.

The new version will have “an entire additional game’s worth of writing on top of what’s already there,” including new secrets, new bad puns and possibly new good puns, but that it still unconfirmed. You can read something about the design process, and how not to make the game lose its humanity here.

If you’ve already purchased The Sea Will Claim Everything anywhere in the past, you’ll get a steam key for free. Depending on how you purchased it, you may receive it in your email, or you may have to email Jonas personally. You can find all the details here.

The Sea Will Claim Everything costs £6.99/$9.99/€9.99 on Steam, but you can always purchase it directly from the developer as well.

[Disclosure: I backed The Council of Crows and Jonas offered backers the chance to be the author of one of those books in the Sea Will Claim Everything, and even choose a title. So, a book in the game should be named after me.]

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12 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    basilisk says:

    This is one of my favourite games of all time. Heck, one of my favourite works of art of all time. It’s silly and clever and funny and lovable and sad and, indeed, deeply human. Unless you are literally allergic to reading, I can’t recommend this enough.

    (And if you are, so sorry to have made you suffer just now.)

  2. Anthile says:

    Yeah, it’s a pretty great game. I got it from my secret santa some time ago (wink, wink) and have been very grateful. It’s really something special.

  3. Aerothorn says:

    I completely spaced on getting my book title/name in the game. Very sad.

  4. lokimotive says:

    Oh cool. I got this through Humble Bundle at some point and started playing it, but then got slightly intimidated with the expanse of it and decided to move on to something else. I’ll have to pop it into my Steam library and hopefully start it after I get sick of The Witcher 3 (which still might be awhile).

  5. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    What is it with disclosures, RPS, and then consistently making me pay more attention to the game? :-p

  6. Pavel Arrys says:

    I remember playing this as a teen when it came out (not that long ago sure) and being quite shaken by it. Discovering how things works and bonding with the characters felt meaningful, I cared for them and their plight, and I wanted to do something about it. Also you could click on every mushrooms in the game and it’d give you its political affiliation. Most of the forces that played a role in the 1917 revolution were present.

  7. malkav11 says:

    The regular praise for The Sea Will Claim Everything got me to back Ithaka of the Clouds/Council of Crows, and getting a 50% off coupon from that got me to buy The Talos Principle, which I still need to finish but was great so far…but I still haven’t played it. I’m afraid anything that isn’t on Steam tends to routinely slip my mind. So I guess it’s just as well that it’s on Steam now, isn’t it?

  8. Niko says:

    I’ve just recently recommended The Sea Will Claim Everything to a Steam friend and it was such a nice feeling when she later said she spent a whole day playing it.
    P.S. I’ve managed to get a book title into the game as well! It’s called The Name of the Cat.

  9. helen16 says:

    3″my roommate’s aunt scored 4224 dollars a week on the internet . She has been unemployed for 7 months but previous month her revenue was 14462 bucks just at work on the MacBook for some hours…PA%80

    ——-> http://www.PayAbility.Tk

  10. Brand says:

    I backed this also so I got a book in TSWCE it was “The Mystery of the Thousand Tiny Turles Dream.” I’m glad I clicked on everything again. I really enjoyed playing the game again also. It was a lot of fun. It just has the best atmosphere. I can’t wait for Council of Crows.